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Japan Photo Journal: Jellyfish float like souls of war dead in mystical Ogasawara sea

(Mainichi/Masashi Mimura)

A moon jellyfish is seen floating against the backdrop of a shipwreck believed to be the "50 submarine chaser" sunk during the Pacific War in this recent photo taken in Ogasawara, Tokyo. The subchaser was sunk by U.S. military aircraft on July 20, 1944, killing 16 people. An anti-aircraft cannon, in the upper left of the photo, remains on the ship's bow. Waters near the Ogasawara Islands -- where over 100 ships that were sunk during the Pacific War are said to lie -- are highly transparent with sunlight reaching deep into the sea, but this part of the ocean is often muddy and dark. Many jellyfish appear near the shipwreck from early summer to fall, but are hardly seen anywhere else in Ogasawara. The four circles visible through its bell are the stomach, which is usually round, but it has been said that the jellyfish here have heart-shaped rings. It seems only natural that the jellyfish here, one of the many places in the sea where we should pray for the war dead, feel like the souls of the victims.

    (Japanese original by Masashi Mimura, Osaka Photo Department)

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